Op-Ed: President’s Proposals Won’t Reduce Gun Violence

By John R. Lott, February 13, 2013

Warning that we need to “get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets,” in his State of the Union, Obama kept repeating that congress must vote on the three types of gun bills he supports.

The most obvious thing that was left out of the talk was that none of the laws now being proposed would have done anything to stop the various attacks that Obama cited as justifying the laws. Nor does the evidence show that the previous Assault Weapon Ban from 1994 to 2004 reduced crime.

Were some of the killers mentally ill? Undoubtedly, “yes,” but none of these individuals had previously been involuntarily committed as a threat to themselves or to others.

Connecticut already had a strict assault weapon ban. But there is no proposed federal or state ban that would have mattered. Replacing a Bushmaster with a semi-automatic hunting rifle that fired the same small caliber .223 caliber bullets would have made absolutely no difference. The two guns would have fired the bullets with the same rapidity and would have done exactly the same damage.

Nor would it have made any difference to ban magazines that hold more than 10 bullets. Someone who is specifically planning an attack can take many magazines with them. Some of the killers have even worn vests with special pockets that allowed them to conveniently carry multiple magazines. A single large magazine is more of a convenience.

Actually large magazines pose a greater problem for those who want to kill many people because such magazines more easily jam. In a large magazine that holds many bullets, a very strong spring is required to be able to feed the last few bullets into the chamber. The problem is that springs weaken over time and springs in magazines that hold a large number of bullets lose some of their ability to push those last few bullets, thus causing the gun to jam. Guns jammed for this very reason during the Aurora and Tucson shootings.

In the infamous 2011 attack in Norway, the killer murdered 69 people and injured another 110 with his semi-automatic pistol and semi-automatic hunting rifle. He had nothing that would be classified as an assault weapon.

Most of these attacks, such as the Aurora movie theater attack, are planned many months or over a year in advance. Even if the killers were somehow convinced that they needed these large magazines, one must understand that a magazine is simply a metal box with a spring. It is trivially easy to make and virtually impossible to stop criminals from obtaining.

Yet despite being at the center of the gun-control debate for decades, neither President Obama nor Ms. Feinstein (the author of the 1994 legislation) seems to understand the leading research on the effects of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.

Senator Feinstein’s website points to two studies by criminology professors Chris Koper and Jeff Roth for the National Institute of Justice to back up her contention that the ban reduced crime. She claims that their first study in 1997 showed that the ban decreased “total gun murders.” That is not the case. In fact, the authors wrote: “the evidence is not strong enough for us to conclude that there was any meaningful effect (i.e., that the effect was different from zero).”

Messrs. Koper and Roth suggested that after the ban had been in effect for more years it might be possible to find a benefit. Seven years later, in 2004, they published a follow-up study for the National Institute of Justice with fellow criminologist Dan Woods that concluded, “we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”

My own research also found no increases in any type of violent crime after the federal Assault Weapon Ban sunset in 2004. Nor did the number of civilians or police officers killed with assault weapons increase after the federal Assault Weapon Ban ended in 2004. In fact, they both have fallen.

There has been plenty of research by criminologists and economists on background checks and they have found to be no more effective.

About the best that can be said of Obama’s discussion on guns during his State of the Union speech is that he didn’t spend the time that he normally does demonizing his opponents. For example, when he presented his proposals on Jan. 16, he claimed that people who opposed his gun control regulations did so “because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves.” That they will do “everything they can to block any commonsense reform” that is necessary “to protect our communities and our kids.”

If we finally want to deal seriously with multiple-victim public shootings, it’s time that we acknowledge a common feature of these attacks: With just two exceptions, the Giffords attack in Tucson and another at an IHOP in Carson City, Nevada, every public shooting in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed since at least 1950 has occurred in a place where citizens are not allowed to carry their own firearms. Had some citizens been armed, they might have been able to stop the killings before the police got to the scene. In the Newtown attack, it took police 20 minutes to arrive at the school after the first calls for help.

Presumably, if Obama thought that he had a stronger case, he wouldn’t have to be so deceptive in his arguments. But simply chanting the names of horrible events and demanding that we vote on gun control laws that would have done nothing to stop those attacks fails to add anything to the debate.

John Lott is a former chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission and the author of “At the Brink” (Regnery) to be released this week. Click here to read the op-ed at HumanEvents.com.

Published in: on February 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man Found Guilty of 1981 Charlotte Rapes

Roger Dale Honeycutt was convicted Friday of raping two Charlotte women more than three decades ago. The 62-year-old Kannapolis man was sentenced to a minimum of 60 years in prison, and a maximum of 140 years.

The jury deliberated for about three hours before finding Honeycutt guilty of the 1981 sexual assaults. He was convicted on two counts of second-degree rape, two counts of second-degree sexual offense and two counts of first-degree burglary.

“It’s been said that justice delayed is justice denied,” Superior Court Judge Jesse Caldwell said before sentencing Honeycutt. “The jury for these victims has said that is not the case.”

Mecklenburg Assistant District Attorney Barry Cook told the reporters that Honeycutt’s conviction was gratifying.

“I’m looking forward to going back to the office and making phone calls to the families of the victims,” the prosecutor said.

The defense rested its case earlier Friday without presenting any evidence or calling Honeycutt to the witness stand.

Three decades after the crimes, police obtained DNA linking Honeycutt to both sexual assaults. During closing arguments Friday, Cook spent much of his time talking to the jurors about the DNA evidence. He called it “accepted science.”

“I submit to you that DNA evidence is inherently reliable,” the prosecutor said.

Cook also told jurors that DNA evidence has been used to free people who have been wrongly convicted.

The prosecutor said the DNA showed that Honeycutt was connected to the crimes.

“It is all about the science – all about the numbers,” Cook told the jurors.

A forensic DNA analyst testified Thursday that DNA from the two rape kits matched Honeycutt’s DNA profile.

And Cook reminded the jurors of the analyst’s findings: There’s a one in 36 billion chance that the DNA in one of the rapes belonged to someone other than Honeycutt. And there’s a 1 in 16 million chance the DNA in the other rape belonged to someone other than Honeycutt.

“The result is the same,” Cook said. “The result is Roger Honeycutt.”

But defense attorney Bill Soukup told jurors his client didn’t commit the crimes. He said the only evidence linking Honeycutt to the rapes was partial DNA profiles.

Soukup argued that the DNA evidence had degraded since the incidents 32 years ago. He talked about the DNA numbers, calling them “impressive” and “dazzling.”

“But I don’t know if they’re very illuminating,” he told the jurors.

Soukup also argued there wasn’t any evidence showing Honeycutt was in Charlotte in 1981.

The defense lawyer told jurors there’s no question the two women had been raped.

“They’re entitled to justice,” Soukup said of the rape victims. “But Roger Honeycutt is entitled to justice, too.”

The two women Honeycutt was convicted of raping both took the witness stand during the trial. Neither victim identified Honeycutt as the assailant.

One victim was 23 years old and five months pregnant when the sexual assault took place in 1981. She testified that her attacker told her not to scream and she wouldn’t be hurt.

Now 55 years old, she told jurors how she pleaded with her attacker.

“‘I’m pregnant. Please don’t hurt my baby’” she recalled telling the man.

She also recalled what the rapist said as he left her apartment after the attack: “Don’t forget to lock the door behind me.”

The other victim, who was 26 years old when she was raped, testified that her attacker told her not to look at him. She also recalled the man telling her not to scream and she wouldn’t be hurt.

But the woman, now 58, said she couldn’t believe that her attacker wouldn’t harm her. “It occurred to me that this might be the end,” she said.

She too recalled what the man said as he left after the sexual assault.

“He told me to go back to sleep and pretend it never happened,” she said.

Published in: on February 23, 2013 at 11:33 am  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Looks to Increase Officers at Charlotte Airport

From The Charlotte Observer By Steve Harrison and Ely Portillo, February 22, 2013

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, which took over aviation security in December, wants to boost security staff by nearly one-third to 62 officers – a move the airport director opposes because of the added cost.

Since taking over at the airport, the police department said it is being more aggressive in investigating crime, and the number of reported crimes has doubled. CMPD said it is focusing thefts at Transportation Security Administration Security lines and by airline contract workers who steal items passengers leave on airplanes.

Under the plan, Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s police costs would rise to $5.5 million, which includes equipment and other costs, according to the airport’s budget. That’s up from the $2.6 million spent in fiscal 2012, when the airport had 41 officers.

Aviation director Jerry Orr said he opposes the increases because the added cost is passed on to the airlines. Some Charlotte officials argue that the city decision to switch to CMPD was correct, and that airport security is now more effective.

The tension highlights the ongoing struggle to control Charlotte’s airport. The General Assembly is considering a bill that would transfer control of Charlotte Douglas away from city government to an appointed authority.

The city is trying to show legislators and the community that it has helped the aviation department run Charlotte Douglas, which is now the nation’s sixth-busiest airport based on takeoffs and landings.

Increase in Reported Crimes

Under the bill filed by state Sen. Bob Rucho, a Matthews Republican, the new authority would be able to hire its own police force, giving it the power to take law enforcement supervision back from the city. Other airport authorities in North Carolina operate their own police forces.

The biggest increase in reported crimes has been in larcenies, according to the police memo. CMPD said the jump is due to the department taking a “proactive enforcement strategy” that’s more likely to catch criminals.

But Orr told the Observer on Friday he doesn’t think the airport needs to hire any more police.

“I don’t support that,” he said. One reason, he said, is that the airlines ultimately pay for the cost of a larger police force through higher user fees, which they ultimately pass on to passengers.

“All of that cost is being reimbursed,” he said. “The more people you have, the higher the cost.”

The decision by former City Manager Curt Walton to put CMPD in charge of airport security in November upset Orr, who alreadywas concerned that Walton was exerting too much influence over the airport. Orr has historically run the airport with little outside control.

Orr has said in past interviews that the airport could benefit from being run by an authority.

Asked Friday whether the police force was doing a good job before it was integrated into CMPD, Orr said: “Of course they were. Absolutely.”

Orr said he doesn’t know why the crime numbers increased.

“I haven’t really looked at it. It could have been any number of things,” he said.

CMPD has been in control at the airport for only two months, which isn’t a large amount of time to analyze long-term trends. It’s possible that the increase in larcenies is the result of more crime, not aggressive policing.

But City Council member David Howard said the city’s decision to switch security to CMPD is an example of why the airport should stay under its control.

“We don’t just want to be the most efficient, lowest-cost airport,” Howard said. “We want to be the safest.”

The officers who work at Charlotte Douglas haven’t changed since the takeover. But instead of reporting to the airport, the officers are now part of CMPD’s chain of command. The officers’ dispatching and communications have been transferred from the airport to CMPD’s communications center.

In the last two months, the airport has had 50 reported incidents of larceny. When Charlotte Douglas was in charge of airport police, there were 18 incidents of larceny reported a year ago and 13 incidents two years ago during the same time period.

Deputy Chief Kerr Putney’s four-page memo – which was partially redacted for security reasons – outlined some of the changes CMPD made since December:

• CMPD has partnered with an airline to reduce thefts once flights arrive at the gate. The report said that contract workers were stealing items left behind on planes.

The airline, whose name was blacked out in the memo, has donated two iPads and one iPhone for crime stings, according to the memo.

US Airways, which operates 90 percent of the flights at Charlotte Douglas, said in a statement that the airline’s security team has worked closely with airport police. That includes coordinating with police to recover items passengers leave behind. “There have been a few instances where an item was stolen, but these occasional occurrences do not constitute a pervasive theft problem,” spokeswoman Michelle Mohr wrote.

• CMPD said it is working to combat thefts since an employee was arrested for theft at a security screening lane.

The police blacked out which agency they are working with. However, a TSA screener was fired after being charged with stealing $36 from a passenger’s suitcase on New Year’s Day.

• The department also hopes to get access to the airport’s camera security systems, run by the airport and different federal agencies. “This video integration could greatly enhance security,” according to the memo.

CMPD declined to comment on the memo or its new strategy at the airport.

An airport employee, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly, told the Observer he had seen more officers patrolling parking lots and the terminal since the switch to CMPD.

Tisdale Prompted Review

Security became an issue at Charlotte Douglas after the November 2010 death of a North Mecklenburg High student, Delvonte Tisdale. Law enforcement believes Tisdale breached airport security and climbed inside the wheel well of a US Airways jet bound for Boston.

Tisdale’s body was found near Boston Logan airport, in the approach path for planes.

After Tisdale’s death, Walton asked CMPD to investigate airport security. The report said that Charlotte Douglas needed more security and improved perimeter fencing.

Earlier this month, Mayor Anthony Foxx and the Charlotte City Council wrote a letter to Mecklenburg’s legislative delegation, asking them to study the implications of switching Charlotte Douglas to an authority.

In the letter, they said one way the city had effectively managed the airport was improving security. It said a two-year review “revealed deficiencies severe enough to warrant turning over policing at the airport to Chief Monroe and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.”

Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which is run by an authority, has its own police force that reports to airport officials, said airport spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin. Piedmont Triad International Airport, also run by an authority, has its own police force as well.

Bill on Fast Track

Two Matthews Republicans, Rucho and State Rep. William Brawley, are leading the push to shift control of Charlotte Douglas to an authority.

Rucho’s bill is on a fast track. It passed the Senate Rules Committee this week, and will now go to the Finance Committee, which Rucho chairs. If passed it would then go to the full Senate. If the legislature approves it, the bill does not need Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature to become law.

Rucho has said that the airport should be run by a full-time authority. He said the business community supports the authority and that some are concerned the city is becoming too involved in the airport’s day-to-day operations.

Published in: on February 23, 2013 at 11:27 am  Comments (1)  

Inmates Stealing Billions Through IRS Refund Fraud

By STUART WATSON / NBC Charlotte, February 23, 2013

In his Congressional testimony, the inmate was simply called “John Doe.” As he told them about massive tax fraud spreading through America’s prisons and costing taxpayers billions, he appeared before the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee from behind a screen.

Inmates back in the South Carolina prisons knew his name but many just called him “The Tax Man.”

Not just because he filed their taxes, but because he filed fraudulent tax returns and stole millions in refunds for them.

The checks were sometimes mailed directly to the prisons where they were locked up.
Now, after 25 years in state and federal prisons, “John Doe” is out.

He said the scam that sent him from state prison in South Carolina to federal prison for tax fraud is still going on without him.

John Doe’s real name is Dwayne Selvey. He currently lives in a mobile home in a location which he asked remain undisclosed, in the upstate of South Carolina. He spends his days looking for an honest job.

“You’ve got all these people in society working and paying taxes legit, and then you’ve got criminals coming along and taking these people’s money,” Selvey said. “I have to say it cost billions of dollars — not millions, but billions.”

The IRS claims to have stopped $2.5 billion dollars in fraudulent refunds on their way to more than 91,000 prison inmates last year.

With the sheer volume of what gets filed, the tougher number to calculate is what gets through. Inmates have gotten more and more clever at incorporating family members, girlfriends and plain old criminals outside the razor wire into the scam.

“Other people started studying on it,” Selvey said. “Learning how to do it.”

Representative J.D. Hayworth of Arizona once nicknamed the scam “H & R Cell Block.”

The 1040EZ is America’s simplest tax form. For tens of thousands of prison inmates, it’s become a ticket to easy money.

“It’s about the easiest thing in the world that you could probably do,” Selvey told WESH-TV reporter Stephen Stock in a silhouette interview after he testified before Congress in 2005.

In the seven-plus years since that congressional testimony, the NBC Charlotte I-Team has requested interviews with Selvey from the S.C. Department of Corrections and numerous wardens at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Uniformly, those requests were denied. Only after he got out of a half-way house last month did he grant the interview.

Dwayne Selvey admitted he and a nephew broke into a girlfriend’s parents’ home in Anderson, S.C. in July of 1987 when he was just 19. They stole guns and jewelry before setting the place on fire.

He said he doesn’t remember many details because he had been drinking alcohol and eating Xanax pills. He said the cops caught him a week later in Myrtle Beach.

He received a 25-year prison sentence for the first degree burglary, 20 years for the arson and 10 years for grand larceny.

After seeing a TV ad on tax preparation in 1991, Selvey went back to his prison cell and filled out the paperwork for a refund he never earned and was not due.

Within weeks, he got it. The IRS refund check from the U.S. Treasury came straight to the prison.

“I said ‘That’s pretty good.’”

He recruited nine more inmates, filed fake returns for them, and charged them $1,000 each off the top. No one complained when the money came.

No one even tried to beat him out of his $1,000 “fee.” It turned out there was honor among thieves.

They considered it “free money.” Free to them. Expensive to the honest taxpayers struggling to gather receipts, come up with real income, and calculate Uncle Sam’s cut.

He’d use real names and social security numbers for inmates, their family members, friends or co-conspirators on the outside.

He’d fabricate the employment record and type up a phony W-2 income statement but stuck to the names of real companies.

“I would put you at the BMW plant, JC Penny’s… a real place,” he said.

He said the refunds rarely exceeded $6,000 each. He wanted to avoid an audit. He made up for the big score in volume.

Selvey estimated he filed fake take returns for 600-700 inmates over a decade for a total of between $3.5 and $4 million.

“I actually had it so good inside the prison that there was no reason to get out,” Selvey said. “I had everything I wanted except for females. There wasn’t no females there.”

For the ten years — from 1991 to 2001 — Dwayne Selvey’s illicit tax preparation business thrived and expanded behind bars in South Carolina prisons.

He said he even developed something of a franchise with two partners at other prisons.
With the ill-gotten gains he said he bought salmon, oysters, gold chains, lots of clothes, new shoes, TV’s (one each for himself and his cellmate) and marijuana. Lots of marijuana.

He said he even kept records of his failed urine screens as evidence of how easy it was to buy dope on the yard at South Carolina prisons back in the day.

He said inmates used the income to help their families buy cars and even property on the outside -– their own illegal stimulus program.

It took more than ten years, but he did get caught. A victim of his own success.

More and more inmates wanted that “free money” from “the tax man” and he just couldn’t keep up.

“You had people start getting jealous and when they start getting jealous they start talking,” Selvey said.

That’s when the IRS agents showed up, asking to talk to him.

“I admitted to it. I said, ‘Yeah, I’m the one that has been filing the taxes,’” he said.

He pleaded guilty and drew a five year sentence in federal prison after his state sentence. After the guilty plea, an investigator with the S.C. prison asked him if he would tell his story to Congress. He said he asked for no reduction in sentence and he got none.

After the hearing, Congress passed a series of tougher laws aimed at slamming the door on inmate tax fraud, but the IRS acknowledges it is still widespread.

In its 2010 report to Congress — the last year on record — the IRS blocked refunds from 91,434 false and fraudulent tax forms filed by inmates. There were 3,339 filed from South Carolina prisons, sixth among the 50 states.

“I don’t feel right that I was scheming and scamming these people’s money,” Selvey says now.

He has a girlfriend and the support of his family and he vowed to stay straight. These days, as he clicks through potential job prospects on an old monitor in a mobile home, Dwayne Selvey smokes cigarettes but he said he’s given up smoking dope.

“Sure I could jump out here and make a million dollars but I’m not going to do that because it’s wrong,” he said.

Selvey has a proposition -– a pitch so crazy it just might work. He wants the IRS to hire him. Intern, consultant, whatever. As long as it comes with an honest paycheck.

He has some tax tips for them. Tax fraud tips.

“Actually, I could prevent a lot of it,” he said.

How the IRS says it’s trying to stop inmate fraud

Inspector General Report

Dwayne Selvey’s Congressional Testimony

Published in: on February 23, 2013 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Proposed Bill Would Put More Deputies on School Campuses

From The Salisbury Post By Nathan Hardin, February 23, 2013

Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten said legislation that would allow deputies to use patrol cruisers for private use would boost school safety.

Kevin Auten
Kevin Auten

Auten said the bill filed this week in Raleigh would allow deputies to drop off and pick up their children from school. As it stands, officers have to use private vehicles, he said.

“What I wanted to do was allow officers when they’re coming to work to drop their kids off at schools. That’ll put them on campuses at schools,” Auten said. “Maybe in the mornings, maybe in the evenings. We ain’t talking about using them to go to the beach or grocery shopping and all that kind of stuff.”

Auten left his comments in a voice mail message Thursday evening in response to a Post reporter’s telephone call. He could not be reached for more details Friday.

N.C. Rep. Harry Warren and Carl Ford introduced the bill on Feb. 18.

If enacted, it would give Auten the authority to use the department’s vehicles as he saw fit.

But, the bill said, the uses would have to be submitted in writing to Rowan County commissioners, who could override the sheriff’s decision with a simple majority vote.

Warren and Ford said Auten could also use the authority to place unmanned patrol cars on campuses across the county.

The purpose, they said, would be to display a law enforcement presence at school facilities.

“That was the motivation behind the bill,” Warren said. “A very non-costly, non-expensive response to school security.”

Published in: on February 23, 2013 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Innocent Bystander Shot at Charlotte Gas Station

From http://www.wcnc.com, February 23, 2013

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are looking for the man who pulled a gun during an argument at a Charlotte gas station and shot an innocent bystander.

The shooting happened at the Shell gas station on Freedom Drive just before 3 a.m. on Saturday.

They say two groups were arguing and one person pulled a gun.  Someone who was not involved in the argument was shot in the neck.

According to police, that person has life threatening injuries.  So far no arrests have been made.

Published in: on February 23, 2013 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte Man Sentenced to 29.5 Years After Shootout With Officers

From http://www.wbtv.com By Jessica Sells, February 21, 2013

The man who sued the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for “police brutality” is now going away for a long time.

22-year-old Malcolm Springs was sentenced in U.S. District Court Tuesday. The judge ordered him to serve 355 months in prison, followed by five years of court supervision. He was also ordered to pay $21, 434 in restitution. All federal sentences are served without possibility of parole.

Malcolm Springs. Source: Facebook

Malcolm Springs. Source: Facebook

Springs’ sentence was enhanced because he has four prior violent felony convictions, which makes him an Armed Career Criminal under the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The conviction stems from a violent drug deal in March 2011. Springs met up with 28-year-old Santonio Cassell in the parking lot of the Marathon gas station at 1419 West Trade Street for a drug deal. Springs stole the drugs and showed his gun to Cassell. The two men struggled over the gun and Cassell was shot in the arm and abdomen.

Springs fled the scene in his car.

Officers responded to a call about a shooting at about 1 a.m. They found Cassell suffering from gunshot wounds. They said he had been shot at close range. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center.

A description of the shooter’s vehicle was given to all officers working the early Sunday morning shift.

Just before 3 a.m. an officer spotted the suspect vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop near the intersection of Highland Street and Marlowe Avenue.

The driver  – later identified as Springs – refused to stop until reaching a dead-end. At that time, he jumped out of the car and ran. Officers chased him and a K9 unit was brought to the scene to help locate the driver. The police chopper was also used in the search.

A short time later, officers spotted Springs between houses on Garibaldi Avenue. He shot at Officer Brent Harrison, hitting him in the leg. Harrison returned fire and hit Springs in the lower torso, allowing officers to move in and arrest Springs.

A neighbor described the scene to WBTV at the time, saying her family dropped to the floor until the gunfire stopped. She said, “it sounded like we were in an Army fight”.

Officer Harrison was taken to Presbyterian Hospital, and recovered. Springs was taken to Carolinas Medical Center and also recovered.

The 9mm Ruger pistol used by Springs was recovered and confiscated.

During the trial, Springs’ mother talked to WBTV. She said justice should be served.

“If he’s responsible for any of these things, he’s gonna go through the system and he’s gonna have to be held accountable for that,” said Debra Walls.

But Walls also said, if police crossed the line, they needed to be held accountable as well.

After the shooting between Springs and Officer Harrison in the Camp Greene neighborhood of west Charlotte, several neighbors told WBTV they witnessed officers stomping and hitting Springs after he was already handcuffed.

CMPD was cleared of any wrongdoing in the case. Officials said Springs was resisting arrest and officers did not use excessive force.

Springs has been in local federal custody since June 2011.

In December 2011, Springs pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

At the sentencing hearing, prosecutors described the shootings committed by Springs as “reckless and wanton” and noted he “could have killed two people”. Prosecutors also said Springs’ shooting a police officer reflected a “complete lack of respect for the law.”

In announcing the sentencing, United States Attorney Anne Tompkins stated, “The Springs case demonstrates the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s commitment to vigorously prosecuting violent criminals and to enforcing existing federal firearms laws. Let it also be known, that we will not tolerate any acts or attempted acts of violence against police officers.”

“Malcolm Springs’ ruthless actions put many lives at risk. The FBI and our law enforcement partners stand united in our commitment to hold violent offenders accountable for their negative impact on our communities,” said Roger Coe, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the FBI.

“It is unfortunate that the incident escalated to where the suspect fired a gun and placed two lives in danger,” said Chief Rodney Monroe, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. “Oftentimes those who are intent on breaking the law and who knowingly engage in criminal activities also lack a regard for human life.”

The investigation was handled by the FBI and CMPD, assisted by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Gleason of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.

Published in: on February 21, 2013 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Second Woman Testifies in 30-Year-Old Rape Case

From http://www.wsoctv.com, February 21, 2013

A Mecklenburg County jury may decide Friday if a Kannapolis man is guilty of raping two Charlotte women more than 30years ago.

2nd victim testifies in cold case rape trial  photo

Prosecutors say DNA points to Roger Honeycutt as the man who broke in and raped two women in separate attacks three weeks apart.

In both cases, the women testified they were asleep on a couch in their apartment when a man broke in after midnight and raped them.

On Thursday, the jury heard from the second victim, who was 26 years old when she was attacked in her apartment on North Sharon Amity, near what was then Eastland Mall.

She said she woke up with a man kneeling next to her.

“I was told if I didn’t scream I wouldn’t get hurt,” she said.

She said that as the man attacked her, she wondered if that was true.

“At some point it occurred to me that I couldn’t believe that — that this might be the end,” she said.

It would be more than 30 years before a cold-case detective found the DNA evidence that prosecutors say points to Honeycutt as the man who raped her and another woman three weeks later.

Honeycutt’s attorney questioned the reliability of that evidence, suggesting it is only a partial match that does not answer all of the questions and may leave some doubt.

He told the judge he does not plan to call any witnesses in the case, and attorneys are expected to give closing arguments on Friday.

Published in: on February 21, 2013 at 6:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man Robs South Charlotte Walgreens on Back-to-Back Nights

From http://www.wcnc.com, February 20, 2013

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are looking for a man who robbed a south Charlotte Walgreens on back-to-back nights this week.

Man robs south Charlotte Walgreens on back-to-back nights

Photo Credit: CMPD

The robberies happened at 4701 South Boulevard in the early morning hours Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The suspect then took items from inside and implied that he had a weapon. The suspect left the store on foot in an unknown direction,” CMPD said in a statement.

It’s unclear what exactly was stolen, but no one was hurt during the robberies.

The suspect is an Asian man between 25-30 years old.  He wore a yellow and black hooded jacket during the crimes.

If you can help identify the man you are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on February 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mother Protects 9-Year-Old During Broad Daylight Robbery

From http://www.wsoctv.com, February 20, 2013

There were terrifying moments for a mother and her 9-year-old son in Catawba County.

“Catawba County 911,” said dispatcher.

“We just got broke into and we were in the house,” said the mother.

The mother and son hid in a bathroom as the burglars went from room to room looking for valuables.

Eyewitness News found out what she did to keep her son safe and how the boy is helping deputies with the case.

Investigators said they have seen a number of similar break-ins in the middle of the day here in Catawba County, usually while no one is home.

Not only was this house targeted, but a home two doors away.

Both times the thieves kicked in a door.

“We locked ourselves in a bathroom and they were just going through the house. I didn’t go to the door because I didn’t know him and he kicked it in,” she said to dispatcher.

There is significant damage to Lisa Waters’ door, and you can hear the anguish in her voice as she described to the 911 operator trying to hide from the burglars.

“We locked ourselves in a bathroom and they were just going through the house. I didn’t go to the door because I didn’t know him and he kicked it in,” said Water’s.

Waters showed Eyewitness News the bathroom she and her son hid in for nearly five minutes as the burglars went from room to room stealing the family’s belongings.

“My son and I were on the other side of this bathroom door and I was holding the lock. Then I heard this, and I said, ‘Oh my God,’ I’m face to face to him the only thing separating us is this door,” said Waters.

Waters said the burglars did not realize that she was in there and moved on to the master bedroom.

That’s when she told her son it was time to get out.

“I took a look at my son as best as I could in the dark, and I said, ‘Son, I need you to listen to me carefully when I tell you to go, I need you to go.’ And he said, ‘Momma, I can’t. I’m scared. I’m so scared.”

But the 9-year-old and Waters quietly slipped out the back door, and she grabbed her phone as they ran outside.

That’s when her son spotted the silver, four-door Honda parked in their driveway.

Inside a woman began blowing the horn alerting the burglars.

Police believe she along with the two men may be connected to several unsolved cases in the area.

Neighbors like Ravanda Duncan aren’t taking any chances tonight.

“You come in my home and I will shoot you. I’m there to protect my home, my children, and grandchildren. I’m not going to have somebody just come in and take what we’ve worked a life time for,” said Duncan.

Waters said next time if someone knocks on her door she will make sure they know someone is home.

She also said she plans on buying a gun for protection and taking classes on how to use it.

Published in: on February 20, 2013 at 6:01 pm  Leave a Comment